Summary

Our Score

8/10

Review Price free/subscription

Compared to the Music Server, the Wireless Player is a rather ordinary looking beast. On the front it has a small 2.5in white on black dot-matrix display. It does the job and is generally perfectly legible, though it could do with being a tad bigger. Below the display and some chrome trim are line-in and headphone jacks while at the back there's a power input and a USB-B port, though quite what that's for remains a mystery - there's no mention of it in the manual. It would have been nice to have a DMPort on there too, but if you do want to connect an MP3 player the line-in will suffice.

Up top there's a similar assortment of function buttons to the Music Server and again they're intelligently organised. Thankfully, the remote for the Wireless Player, if a little bulky, is far more palatable. It helps that there's a lot less going on, but the buttons it has are evenly distributed and even the plastic used make it feel considerably better in the hand.

Just like the setup process, using the Wireless Player is blissfully simple. Upon connection to the Music Server you can instantly begin browsing music housed on there, sorted by the usual Artist, Album and Genre denominations. You can also listen to Internet Radio stations through the Live365 service. In addition you can stream music from PCs and compliant NAS boxes connected to the network, as well as listen to music from any device connected to the line-in jack.

There are five preset equalizer modes: Flat, Rock, Pop, Jazz, Classical and Dance. There's also what Sony calls DSGX (Dynamic Sound Generator Xtra) which, as the name suggests, is the usual artificial processing that boosts bass and "dynamics" and this feature is also found in the Music Server.

What's the result? Though no powerhouse, the Wireless Player produces a predominantly pleasant sound given the right source material. It has a nice sense of clarity and tonality for a small unit, though unsurprisingly the sound is quite narrow. Low-level bass, however, is more or less absent save for a dull thud, and subsequently hip-hop and dance tracks lack a little drive. We also found some distortion creeping in, especially when listening to rockier tunes at higher volumes. This shouldn't be a problem in most scenarios, but it will struggle to fill out larger rooms.

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